“ Dad” Mahinder Nanda Esq; Global CEO of the Male Shaver’s PLATINUM Guild & SUDOKU Wizard..
As a young boy at BCS there lived amongst us thinnies’n skinnies a couple of hairy rascal gorillas in both the Rivaz & Lefroy Dorms… one I distinctly remember was a chap, short stocky compact with a loaded bristles-forever-face. The dude was sixteen but looked like yes, a mature gorilla with hairy arms that sort of nearly touched his ankles. If his hair wasn’t dark and jet black I could have sworn he was a Gorillorangutan, yes you too may have guessed, his parents “could” have been Gorilla and Orangutan one of each and “could” have met in the tropical jungles when hot-humid-pissing-down-in the rain forests, both seeking shelter from buckets of rain holding huge wild ferns over their heads, sitting next to each other staring ahead into the dark green sweltering heat with dragon flies a plenty…but as instincts call they both turned towards one another and Sweet Hallelujah it was LAFS; simplifying it-it was Love At First Sight, quite a scandal amongst the Gorilla and Orangutan tribes, but who gave a toss of banana scandals… and so the priest , another rascal of a Chimpanzee calling himself “ The Most Reverend ChiChoBonaparte” wed the 💏 couple in love ( thankfully the Orang was a Lady of the Highest Order and the Gorr a Gentleman who was a graduate from the esteemed HSBC, the Harvard School of Baboons & Connivers ( not the bloody bank).
Recollect readers the hairy Cottonian’s parents only-possibly, “could“ have been the two Apes…no?
The chap was a Rivazian and I looked at his face in awe; he was in Fifth Form and I in Upper One, so we were around ten years apart along with the fact his face, a layer of thick blue-green of bristles; we guys were silky smooth something like Cadbury’s chocolate.
Having the courage to ask him one day about his bristles and how they came about etcetra … he appeared smooth as silk too.. baffled! but still I ventured to ask nervously and he…“ I shave twice a day “ .. “Lola” replied with a confident smirk ‘n swagger and just jazzed off like a real star of the bristle brigade into the Tara Devi sunset ..yes Lola and another new fandangled word for him “Jhariaa” or thick bushes with bramble that butterflies-afraid-to perch on was his second nick name.
Many of us wondered what that word “ shave” was all about…
Of course I tried to ask many in Lefroy, even the surdies who boasted Rapunzel hair under their turbans; none had the foggiest about bristles’ n beards and how “Lola the Jhariaa” was ahead of the hairy curve.
Lola passed out from BCS and except for a scant one or two strands emanating from some other dude’s follicles I never encountered another Gollirorangutan passed my ten years in School.
Another year and two passed.. I was going to join the band of gypsies as The Merchant Marine called.. By now a few strands had emerged in my regale chin too and I was told by the Company Superintendent “ report on board with your packed kit bag; a shave every day with a decent hair cut”. ….
The first ablution! Shave! And still I was lost. My Father was away to Sandheads so Mum said she would book a trunk call to Bombay and I “ should speak to Mahinderji who will be able to explain slowly carefully and simply how you should shave 🪒 “
I remember trunk calls during the early 1970’s were a Big Deal; with water and sewage in the trunk line it was required to shout loud and hard as there were 2000 kms between Calcutta and Bombay..as it was important that your neighbours heard you, so impressed by the howls and screams after all this was a Trunk Call not a telegram..
The trunk call was all I needed..
to understand the beard to be weeded
Mahenderji, a real shaving ace
Asked me to feel the contours of my face
Mine was smooth rough low high beard
Don’t fret it will feel initially weird
Now wash your face with hot water
A nice badger brush to build up lather
those days the cream he used was Old Spice
Impressed me do not roll the dice
stick to that cream good advise from the wise
Now a safety razor with seven’o’clock
that I applied, nicked and in shock
Follow the lines of your chiseled face
Long confident strokes you will make
Like the smooth Kalka Simla train
Beware never ever against the grain…
and so my story goes, it was Thanks to Dad Mahenderji I learnt the art of shaving. He was a little skeptic on showing me tricks on designing my moustache since he had a gallant sophisticated bigote and I wasn’t allowed to sport one.
Whenever my ship docked after transatlantic voyages at Bombay, I bounded across to Silver Oaks to meet the Global CEO of The Male Shaver’s PLATINUM guild who studied the fine contours of my face; we heaped praises and plati-accolades on each other’s fine performances most he-to-me in his humble way; I always took copious notes but I knew then I still hadn’t achieved the ski lines or the glowing freshness of DAD’s and had much to learn, to complete many badger-creme-razor voyages before I could shave on a dark night with only lightning striking the palms above in a pouring rainforest…. as a Gorilla and Orangutan madly in love holding hands sat watching me…
.. till date the shaving lectures I received have being ingrained in my memory…….perhaps it was the deafening rock concerts I went to, the roll, pitch and pounding of my ship catching me off balance that I shaved my tuft against the grain too often and Alas! My Beard is amongst the damnedest sharpest roughest the world has ever seen or anyone has felt ( wink ! wink!)
But I remain ever grateful to “ DAD” who continued to impress the Yanks with his mathematical wizardry; fifty years ago whilst visiting Japan Dad met Emperor Shōwa Hirohito who asked him “besides Honda Toyota Kawasaki and Seiko what else could the Imperial Rising Sun give to the world”?
Dad whilst enjoying a plate of salmon sushi and saki smiled and bowing to His Royal Highness … whispering questioning “Royal Highness .SODOKU.?”
Confused HRH Shōwa with a high brow responded …”Please expand Nanda San ….”
… and Dad replied.smiling again …
“ Your Royal Highness…Suji wa dokushin ni kagiru “
And that’s when it all started …
First THE ART OF SHAVING &
Later SUDOKU WIZARDRY
Wizard of Many
Dragon Slayer of Sudoku …..from Easy to Evil.
Global CEO of The Male Shaver’s Platinum Guild
Bonnie ( Vivek )Bhasin
Still Shaving .. imperfectly
Still referring to copious notes..
(Also in memory of Lola the Jhariaa Sharma .. wherever your growth has taken you..Bro 🙏)
08 Aug 2021